Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

Chuck Grassley
U.S. Senator, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Grassley: evaluate the wisdom and value of the intelligence programs. However, Congress needs accurate information to conduct oversight responsibilities that the constitution demands that we do under our checks and balances of government. That is why it was especially disturbing to see that the director of national intelligence was forced to apologize for inaccurate statements he made last march before senate intelligence committee. Those statements concern one of the important programs will be hearing about
Chuck Grassley
U.S. Senator, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Grassley continued: This very day. Nothing can excuse this kind of behavior from a senior administration official of any administration. Especially on matters of such great importance. We have a constitutional duty to protect American’s privacy. That’s a given. We also have an equal Constitutional responsibility to ensure that the government provides a strong national defense. That’s a given. Intelligence gathering is of course a vital part of that defense.
Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator, Judiciary Committee Chairman
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Leahy & Inglis: Leahy: You have to have a certain amount of trust but don’t you have people doubled checking what somebody is doing? Inglis: We do, sir. Leahy: Who double checked Mr. Snowden? Inglis: There are checks at multiple levels, there are checks in terms of what an individual might be doing at any moment in time. There are. Leahy: you obviously failed. Inglis: in this case I think we can say that they failed but we do not yet know where. Leahy: You think you can say they failed. I mean he’s sitting over at the airport in Russia with millions of items . Inglis: I would say that uh with the benefit of what we know now they did fail but we do not know where precisely they failed. We may find
Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator, Judiciary Committee Chairman
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Leahy & Inglis: Inglis: We will hold them accountable. Leahy: Are you taking any steps now to make sure such a screw up doesn’t happen again? Inglis: we have instituted a range catch someone who might want to repeat what Mr.. Snowden did. There are many other ways that someone might try to beat the system. Leahy: you can understand why some people have used the old expression, locking the door after the horse has been stolen?
Chuck Grassley
U.S. Senator, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Grassley, Cole, Litt, Inglis: Cole: Nobody is listening to anybody's conversations through this program and through program, nobody could. No information like that is being collected through this program. Grassley: Mr. Litt, section 215 contains a requirement that records collected under the program, and --on be relevant to authorized investigation. As a legal matter, how can you justify the assertion that phone records of millions of Americans who have nothing to do with terrorism are relevant to an authorized investigation under section
Chuck Grassley
U.S. Senator, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Grassley, Cole, Litt continued 1: Grassley: section 215? Litt: I begin by noting number of judges repeatedly over the years have found that these records are in fact, relevant. The reason is the standard of relevance we are talking about here is not the kind of relevance you think about in the Perry mason sense of the criminal trial. It is a much broader standard of relevance and in a number of circumstances such as civil discovery, it is a well accepted concept that if you need to get a large group
Robert Litt
General Cousel, Office of Director of National Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Grassley, Cole, Litt continued 2: Litt: of records in order to find a smaller group of records that actually provides the information you need to move forward, that the larger group of records can be relevant. That is true in this case because of the kinds of controls that the deputy attorney general mentioned. The fact that the queries are limited, the access to the data FISA court, and the has repeatedly found these
Chuck Grassley
U.S. Senator, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Grassley, Cole, Litt continued 3: Litt: records are relevant. Grassley: Is there any legal precedent that supports such a broad definition of relevance to an investigation? Litt: I’d actually defer that to the Deputy Attorney General Grassley: OK Cole: The legal precedent comes from the history of all the orders that have been issued. The courts having looked at this under the FISA law and under the provisions of 215 and making sure that under the provision (of 215)
Chuck Grassley
U.S. Senator, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Grassley, Cole, Litt continued 4: Cole: (of 215) and the ability to get these records relevant to a criminal, rather– a foreign intelligence investigation, they have gone through the law that Mr.. Litt has described. On I believe 34 different occasions to do this analysis. So that legal precedent is there.
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Feinstein: I just realized that I believe Mr. Inglis's statement makes public for the first time, a fact and it is an important fact. It is on page four of his letter and what he points out, I think Mr. Cole described that the query which is the search of the database can only be done on reasonable articulable suspicion and only 22 people
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Feinstein continued 1: have access to that, trained and vetted analyst at the NSA. If the numbers are run and it looks like there is a problem, the report is made to the FBI. The FBI looks at it and if they want to collect content, they must get a probable cause warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance court.
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Feinstein: NSA has produced and declassified a chart. Which I’d like to make available to all members. It has the 54 total events. It includes section 702 authority and section 215 authority. Which essentially work together. It shows the events disrupted based on a combination
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Feinstein continued 1A: of these two programs. 13 in the homeland. 25 in Europe. Five in Africa, and 11 in Asia. I was on the intelligence committee before 9/11 and remember how little information we had.
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Feinstein continued 2A: The criticism of the government because of these stovepipes, the inability to share intelligence, the inability to collect intelligence, we had no row graham that could -- program that could have caught two people in san Diego before the event took place. I support this program. , think, based on what i know they will come after us and i think we need to prevent an attack wherever we can from happening.
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Feinstein continued 3A: That does not mean that we cannot make some changes. Yesterday, the intelligence committee, i outlined some changes that we might consider as part of our authorization bill. Let me quickly run through them. The number of American phone numbers submitted as queries on a regular basis annually from the database, the number of referrals
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Feinstein continued 4A: made to the FBI each year, based on those queries, and how many times the FBI obtains probable cause warrants to collect the content of a call which we now know is very few times, relatively. The number of times that a company, this is at their request from the high-tech companies, that any company is required to provide data pursuant to FISA's business records provision. As you know, the companies who provide information are seeking
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Feinstein continued 5A: to speak more publicly about this. I think we should. There are some changes we can make to the business record section. We are looking at reducing the 5 year retention period that NSA keeps phone records in it’s database, down to two or three years. It is my understanding that the usefulness of it tails off as the years go on. We have to determine
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Feinstein continued 6A: that point and then consider it. And requiring the NSA to send to the FISA court for its review, the records of each query of the database as soon as is practicable so the court can determine the propriety of the query under the law. These are things that can be done to increase transparency, but not to stop the program. I believe, based on what i have seen and i read intelligence regularly, that we would place this
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Feinstein continued 7A: nation in jeopardy if we eliminated these two programs. Thank you, Mr.. Chairman. Litt: My offer a brief response to that? Leahy: Just a moment and I will. Would you also include reporting how often NSA or anybody else goes into an individual's browsing history or their e-mails or social media activity? Feinstein: Sure, right. And we could do that for the private sector too. How often
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Litt : I wanted to say that i think the administration is more or less in the same place that Senator Feinstein is. We are open to re-evaluating this program in ways that can perhaps provide greater confidence and public trust that this
Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator (D-CA), Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Litt continued: is in fact a program that achieves both privacy protections and national security. And in fact, the white house -- directed the director of national intelligence to make recommendations in that area. So we will be looking forward to working with your committee and this committee to see whether there are changes that are made that are consistent with preserving the essence of the program and yet provide greater public confidence.
Al Franken
U.S. Senator, D-Minesotta
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Franken: …protecting American’s privacy. But when almost everything about these programs is secret. And when the companies involved are under strict gag orders, the American public has no way of knowing whether we’re getting that balance right. I think that’s bad for privacy and bad for democracy. Tomorrow I'm introducing a bill to address this. It will force the government to disclose how many Americans have had their information collected under key authorities in the foreign intelligence
Al Franken
U.S. Senator, D-Minesotta
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Franken continued 1: surveillance act. It will also force the government to disclose how many Americans have had their information reviewed by federal agents. My bill would also allow private companies to disclose aggregate figures about the number of FISA orders that they are receiving and the number of their users that these orders have affected. Two weeks ago a broad coalition of 63 internet companies and bipartisan civil liberties groups sent a letter to the president
Al Franken
U.S. Senator, D-Minesotta
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Franken continued 2: asking for the reforms that my bill would make law. I'm proud to say that i am introducing my bill with the support of chairman Leahy, Senator Blumenthal and a number of other Senators who are not on the judiciary committee. From what I just heard from Senator Feinstein there may be some overlaps in our approaches and I’d be happy to work with her.
Al Franken
U.S. Senator, D-Minesotta
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Franken: Transparency is part of that balance. I do not want a situation where the government is transparent only when it is convenient for the government. Litt: i think -- Franken: about an hour ago, ODNI declassified a FISA court order under section 215. That’s a good thing. But ODNI has know for weeks that this hearing was coming. And yet, ODNI
Al Franken
U.S. Senator, D-Minesotta
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Franken continued 1A: released this material just a few minutes before the hearing began. Again it's a step forward, but you get the feeling when it’s ad hoc transparency. That doesn’t engender trust. Litt: i couldn’t agree with you more. I think we have an obligation to go through and look at the bad as well as the good and declassify what can be declassified without danger. We did actually have a discussion yesterday within the executive branch about whether or not we should
Al Franken
U.S. Senator, D-Minesotta
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Franken continued 2A: release these documents this morning or not because it’s generally not a good idea to release things on the morning of the hearing. Litt: We came to the conclusion that once we made the determination that the documents should be declassified, there was no justification for holding them up any longer. Franken: Did you just start thinking about that decision, like, yesterday? You’ve know this for a long time. You might have thought about this weeks ago and said maybe not the day of. Litt: We have been thinking about this for some time
Al Franken
U.S. Senator, D-Minesotta
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Litt: continued: We’ve been processing these as quickly as we can. You’ll note that the documents that were released contain some redactions of information that remains classified. It’s a rather time-consuming inter-agency process to reach a consensus on what can safely be released. Franken: my time is up. I think that we should create a strong permanent set of public reporting requirements that will empower the public to reach their own conclusions
Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator, Majority Whip
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Durbin: In 2012, there were 300 queries that resulted in a search of records. We are told that there are three hops. In other words, If i was the subject matter of the search and i called Senator Feinstein they would accumulate all the records of my telephone calls to her and others. And then all of the records Senator Feinstein’s
Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator, Majority Whip
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Durbin continued 1: telephone calls which may have include chairman Leahy. And now you have included all of his records as well. Mr. Jaffer, of the ACLU, will testify, at least speculate later that if i had an average of 40 contacts, that would mean that for my name, my query, you would accumulate 2 million phone records. 2 million.
Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator, Majority Whip
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Durbin continued 2: For one inquiry. Now Multiply that in the year 2012, by 300. We're talking about 600 million phone records. Now Multiply that times seven years. So What has been described as a discrete program, to go after people who would cause us harm, when you look at the reach of this program, it envelops a substantial number of Americans. So can somebody help me with the math?
Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator, Majority Whip
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Durbin continued 3: Have i missed something along the way? Or perhaps minimize that number? Inglis: Sir, if I could start apologizing for the format, the unclassified format. I’ll be discreet in my remarks but happy to follow up in any detail that you would prefer either here or at NSA. Now first and foremost, the are analysts charged to provide information that is truly useful to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. And so in that regard, they try to be judicious about choosing when to do a second or under the court’s authorization, a third hop. Those aren’t always exercised.
Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator, Majority Whip
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Durbin: It comes down to this, once establishing that number with al Shabab, this operative from al Shabab, you could certainly go after that person’s telephone records and all of the contacts that that person has made and his telephone records. The basic question we are faced with is, do you need five years worth of data on everyone in America and their telephone records so that the haystack which is pretty big -- Inglis: that’s a fair question.
Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator, Majority Whip
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Inglis continued: if you don’t have the person’s records in the past then you can’t determine Durbin: The point that has been raised repeatedly is if we required the phone companies to retain the records for 5 years Inglis: that’s a very fair point and that is possible. Durbin: it would not be in the grasp of the government, but access by the government which serves the same purpose Inglis: I agree. But under the current legal framing the phone companies are not required to retain that for the benefit of the government. Durbin: how hard would it be? Inglis: I think it would require a legal change. I don’t think that’s hard. I don’t think that you can get there from here. You have to then
Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator, Majority Whip
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Inglis continued 2: think about the rest of the attributes that are necessary to make this a useful venture. Durbin: Sen. Feinstein said ask him about the expense. Inglis: I would say in a classified session, i can give you chapter and verse on the expense. The expenses are different depending upon whether you chose the current implementation and you chose the implementation or you leave it at the providers. The govt. requires the providers to retain those records should bare that expense.
Mike Lee
U.S. Senator, R-Utah
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Lee: We were unable to speak about this publicly because we have secret procedures being under taken pursuant to secret law. It has been a bit of a problem. What would you say -- getting back to you –Mr. Cole to my constituents. I understand what you are saying that we are collecting it but we’re not looking at it. We're closing our eyes. So don’t worry about it. What do you say to my constituents would say, i don’t want the government having this information.
Mike Lee
U.S. Senator, R-Utah
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Lee continued: It’s not the government’s information. It still doesn’t make it relevant under the law. It still doesn’t meet what many of my constituents believe to be within their reasonable expectation of privacy. For the government to collect that much information, potentially information of 300 million Americans. Cole: i would say two things. First of all we have had 34 separate times
James Cole
Deputy Attorney General
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Cole continued: where the courts say that does meet the standard of relevance. To have it all and then have the restrictions. But the further thing that is very important, is what we are doing today. It is worth having a debate about, is there a better way to do it. – it’s worth having a debate about where we strike that balance between security for the nation and making people’s privacy and civil liberty rights are being honored. That's a tough balance to find, but it’s a balance worth talking about and It is a process we are welcoming and engaging in right now.
Mike Lee
U.S. Senator, R-Utah
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Lee: thank you. I see my time has expired. i appreciate your insight. I do think it is worth discussing publicly. We need to consider from a constitutional standpoint. We have been relying on a 34 year-old supreme court case, Smith VS. Maryland, to get at this idea that metadata is somehow beyond the reach of the fourth amendment. But we have to remember that Smith did not involve collection on hundreds of millions of Americans. Involved collection on a single
Mike Lee
U.S. Senator, R-Utah
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Lee continued 1A : target. It involved collection in a manner that is completely archaic by today’s standards and that by today’s standards would involve a miniscule amount of information. I think at some point when you collect this much data on that many people, whether it’s that much data on one person. That might create some problem. That much data on hundreds of millions of people creates an even bigger problem and not considered by the Supreme court of the United States in Maryland VS. Smith. And one we need to revisit.
Mike Lee
U.S. Senator, R-Utah
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse: I hope the executive branch takes a lesson from this experience about the value of classification, or what i would consider over classification. I've seen this over and over. When we were fighting with the Bush administration about the torture program, the executive branch got to tell its side of the story because
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 1: the executive branch were the declassifiers. And we were stuck with facts that we knew that blew up the argument that was being made by the executive branch but that we could not articulate because they were classified. We’ve seen it on cyber where so much of the American pubic are unaware of the cyber threat we’re facing. Now thankfully
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 2: we are becoming more aware. But for a long time we were just in the dark about what was going on because the private sector, companies didn't want to talk about it for fear of aggravating their regulators, their consumers, their clients, even giving their competitors advantage and the government just wildly over classified everything. Now we have, I think, a terrific article that Senator Feinstein wrote. We have I think
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 3: We have very good testimony by Bob Mueller. We have a lot of good information out there that helps the American public understand these programs. But it all came out late. It all came out in response to a leaker. There was no organized plan for how we rationally declassify this so that the American people can participate in the debate. I think there’s an
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 4: executive branch reaction towards classification. I think that reaction is in part because of the advantage it gives the executive branch relative to the legislative branch, which can’t be classified. And I think over and over again we found that looking back we’re worse off for that effort in the first instance. So I would really urge you to take a look at this. And you know when this thing burst, there is this old saying of, I'm not going to get exactly right, but there’s something about, the rumor
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 5: is all the way across town before the truth can even get its boots on. You’ve lived that experience in the last couple of months. I hope this has an effect on you because this it is a recurring problem. And we really need to be balancing much more carefully the value of declassification against the value of classification. I think you guys are terribly one-sided, in favor of classification. And then something like this comes and pow, you’re still trying to get your boots on
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 6: because you never took the appropriate steps to put news out about this program that would have avoided, I think, a lot of this. And I’d like you to have a chance to react to that. Cole: I think you make a valid point. These are all topics that we need to debate. They’re not easy topics because they involve again that same balancing. The same balancing that we are trying to do between
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Cole continued: national security and civil liberties. And what kinds of programs we put into place to gain intelligence information. it is the same kind of debate we need to have about what’s classified and what’s not classified and what secrets we let out. If it was easy, we would be having this left and right. From what I’ve seen, that the executive branch is doing it, to disadvantage the legislative branch. Whitehouse: it does have that effect. Cole: It may have that effect. And I would concede that. Whitehouse: I think it’s done
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 1A : because people are cautious. And it is easier to over classify than to under classify. It is safer to over classify than to under classify. –and now we’re having to get in and into the hard work of finding just where that line is and that’s a difficult jobs to do but’s it’s worth doing. Whitehouse: ..or something like that happens or the torture program gets exposed or we have a significant cyber attack or something happens
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 2A: that shows that that short term decision, that it was easier to classify, was actually the wrong decision. Litt: I just want to add on this, and I know you are familiar with what I'm going to say. We are having a public debate now but that public debate is not without cost. The information that has been leaked is going to do damage to our ability to protect the nation. We are going to lose capabilities. People are paying attention to this. The way that typically the Congress, both through the legislation it passes and through its own internal rules, has historically sought to achieve the balance between appropriate oversight of intelligence activities and the need
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